I happened to notice this discussion on another site, and since it involved veteran Imagineer Eddie Sotto, I thought it was particularly noteworthy, given that it touched on an issue that's been discussed here as well.
(Emphasis mine.)Originally Posted by Eddie SottoOriginally Posted by gmajewI agree that people feel they are entitled to things because of the high prices etc but that does not give them an excuse for bad behavior. Like all the spit balls you find throughout the rides. Or the littering... That is not because of the prices they pay it is because people no longer have any morals and do not know how to get their kids to behave.
My trip at the end of March I was disgusted by the way people acted. It is a said display of the way we act as a group these days.
Agree. The guest experience is also determined by how WE treat the other guests we're sharing it with. So True. Policies can spark the worst in people too and it does not take much. Littering also results from a messy environment to begin with. An old Disney saying is "trash breeds trash". If you see a clean area you tend to respect it, if it's not, you join the littering in progress. Today's crowds may be more challenging. Another policy example would be unfair or "open" parade or fireworks seating. No terrace or difficult viewing angles in roped areas invite guests to block out the greater number by standing. People get in physical fights over kids on shoulders blocking their view. Access to Alcohol does not help in some cases. So much is at stake when a vacation costs that much and your kid can't see, or the park is oversold and they are whining. Environment can bring out good or bad behavior if the bar is already set low in the guest's ethics. We live in a world today where more and more behavior is legislated, as the less conscience some people exercise to control themselves, the only fear they have for doing wrong is getting caught. Theme Parks rely a lot on good guest behavior as they cannot fiscally afford to be "police states" and should not be. Look at the LA Dodger's incident that resulted in the Stadium becoming a police state. (Isolated for sure), but the alcohol and tolerance of bad behavior breeds escalation and the notion that you can do anything. Many guests still are well behaved and mirror the happy spirit of the parks, but there are more and more situations, (like the Airlines experience) where the close quarters and rule driven experience breeds discontent. Designers and Operators play a role in designing experiences that are kind add fair. I always fought for the narrower queues (36 inches) as it naturally limits the incentive for people to try and cut in front of you. Don't forget, Pleasure Island opened with a Roller Skating Rink that allowed you to skate up to a full bar! Drunks on wheels! Insane.
Today's culture is very different from that of Walt's day where people actually dressed up to come to the parks. That says something about the way we respect each other in public. I know that in nice restaurants the dress code has fallen pretty far and it lowers the specialness of "date nite" or a special occasion in high end dining experiences. Rivera has ways to accommodate both and we try and hold the bar as high as is practical. I don't want to pay big bucks for an anniversary dinner and look at a guy in a dirty T shirt at the next table. Times have changed and so you adjust. I recall a story that was told to me by one of the old guard supervisors operating Disneyland. In the early days of selling unlimited use passports, he found a teen in the bathroom spinning and unravelling the toilet paper and throwing it all over the wet floor. The place was a mess. He asked the youth why he was doing it and the answer was that "he was getting his money's worth." Hmmm. The CM went on to tell me that he did not like the idea of losing the ticket books because it gave the guest the subconscious idea that they owned the place. The attractions lose the sense of value of being a "transaction". No ticket takers to control the entry to the rides, meant they were just there for the taking. "Unlimited use" meant you could "learn them" and then vandalize or jump out of them. Combine that use policy with the society we live in today which has a "me first" mentality and you are where you are. I never forgot that story and analogy as I heard it in the early 80's!
I'd go so far as to say that the combination of the all-access passports AND the Annual Pass program has resulted in a lot of the problems that Disneyland currently experiences, such as crowding. Ultimately, this all comes down to management, which really means Burbank.
It really needs to change.